Little Did I Know

That many of my readers only know me by my blogs. So, in deference to my usual Blog, I am responding to requests of more information about myself, my goals, and family.

I am an avid reader of helpful articles on writing from many sources—some are bloggers happy to share their knowledge; magazine articles, the opinions of successful authors, and the internet. All have helped me and continue to educate and guide me to move forward as an author.

I can listen to most any kind of music, old and new and enjoy it all; love live theater, dining out, not much of a sports fan, except figure skating and college football. All in all, I love to be entertained.max birth 011

 

I have three beautiful grown daughters, and three amazing grandchildren, two boys and one girl. My first name is Pauline and I used my mother’s maiden name as my pseudonym. Standing behind me, in the photo shown, is Dean and Max, and next to me is Kaelyn. My life is full and busy keeping up with the three of them, and I cherish every minute of it. Also, I can’t forget my dogs, both from shelters.

I have written four books to date with a fifth in its final editing stages. I began my first book as a teenager, writing about growing up in the Bronx, in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. I sent it to a well-known publisher in New York, and it was rejected because they did not believe I brought my characters to life. Years later, I re-wrote the book, having had a few more life experiences, and self-published it. “Jack of Hearts”, was published as an e-book and then printed. It did well and I was proud to have completed one of my goals.

The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Books are a fantasy series, based loosely on Irish mythology, titled Hidden Hills. This led to many believing I am committed to writing only fantasy. I do love magic, and the supernatural, but I also love a good romance, an exciting action novel, mysteries and definitely anything having to do with space, and science fiction.
My latest is a romantic novella with a paranormal touch. The first four can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other e-book sellers. My novella “Steered by Destiny” will be available very soon.
In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. http://www.paulaperron@hotmail.com

Happy writing,
Paula

LET’S TALK ABOUT ROMANCE

”The course of true love never did run smooth”—-SHAKESPEARcple with heart                                                                        On Valentine’s day everyone thinks of Love and Romance.  Whether young or old, the day invokes memories.

If you are a Romance Writer, you are always interested in learning more about how to move your readers from a first kiss, to a breakup and finding a new love.  As an author, you try to find a new approach to an old story.  Boy meets girl.  Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back and they live happily ever after—End of story.  Or is it?

Most books, regardless of genre have an attraction somewhere on the pages, even if it is a sub-plot. As a writer, it is your job to make your readers care about your characters, their lives, and their relationships with others.  Only in fairy tales do the characters live happily ever after.

Boy meets girl.  She is beautiful, smart, and well endowed.  He is handsome, brilliant, and successful. Perfect!—Right?   NO! Everyone has faults, problems, and dreams. So must your main characters.  Give her some quirky habits. Allow him to have secrets.

There are subtle techniques to keep your readers interested.  Special words help your readers turn the page (She heard his footsteps advance toward her and her heart jumped with excitement) Or, whisper into your reader’s ears to trigger a memory.(He heard a familiar voice and a pit formed in his stomach).

But, let’s talk about writing an actual romance.   We can convey love without saying a word. That is where the “show, don’t’ tell” comes in. A touch, a look, the memory of a shared experience, can say a lot. There is no need to say the magical three words.   Writing about Love is difficult. You have to work harder to convey it without saying it.

Another question:  How to create suspense through flirtations?  To be a good writer, one must learn to be both a seducer and a lover.  Begin with flirtations, luring the reader into your world.  Is she a teaser, promising much but giving little?  Is he not what he seems? Learn to master the art of dangling a carrot before your reader.  Plant the idea and your reader will crave the answer. There should be tension, and anxiety between both characters.  Without it, your reader will not experience any pleasure at the end of your story.

This is a condensed version of a wonderful issue of Writer’s Digest, for February, 2018.  If you do not already have a subscription, you are missing a great magazine.

Happy Writing, Paula

COULD ALGORITHM PREDICT SUCCESS OF BOOKS?

 

book-rose-smlDEFINITION OF ALGORITHM: A logical step-by-step computer program —a flow chart— a system—a set of rules…

What if, in the near future, a computer program can predict your book’s success or failure?

An article written by Joel Shurkin awakened me to such a possibility.  Scientists at Stony Brook University, in New York, think a computer program might predict successful books and recently, using the computer Algorithm, found that the program had about 84 per cent accuracy when applied to published books.

In a paper published by the Association of Computational Linguistics, “the writing style of books was correlated with the success of the book”. They used a process called statistical stylometry, a statistical analysis of the literary styles of several genres of books and identified characteristic stylistic elements common in successful books.

Some of the early finds by the scientists amaze me because they found journalists tend to use more nouns, pronouns and prepositions than other writers and in doing so, are more successful. ——– Both Hemingway and Charles Dickens began their careers as Journalists. To further excite me, a computer scientist at Israel’s University developed a program that tells whether the author is male or female 80 percent of the time.

Is it possible, Editors will now use an algorithm program to determine a books success or failure before they print?  Wow!

There are  more  findings and observations in Mr. Shurkin’s article—too much to elaborate here, so give it a read. I think you will find it as interesting as I did.

For reading, go to “American Institute of Physics”

Happy Algorithms,

Paula

DO YOU MAKE DECISIONS WITH A ROLL OF THE DICE?

 FIdiceRST PERSON OR THIRD PERSON


 

A question asked often and answered just as many times

Why do we face such a dilemma every time we sit down to write? Because, it all depends on whose point of view you want.  Each will create a slightly different story, both good— but different. How do we decide whether to write in the First Person or the Third Person? They both work. Is it better for the author to look through the eyes of the character?  Or should the author tell it through observers, narrators, or something else?  Let’s start with the difference between the two.

With FIRST PERSON, you are looking through the eyes of your character, and have access to that character’s thoughts and feelings. Writing in the First Person is more intimate, and you can dig deeper into the character’s personality. Usually this is the main man or woman (the Protagonist). There are times when the person telling the story is an observer; as in the Sherlock Homes novels, that are narrated by Doctor Watson.  Sometimes, the character whose eyes we are looking through is not human…like a Dog.

With THIRD PERSON, you, as author, are the viewpoint of the character, speaking through the eyes of the Protagonist.  In Third person, you create the events your character must deal with, and how to solve the problems as they occur.  You are the Supreme Being; the Creator, the Omniscient, and the one and only decision maker. If there are other characters in your story; once again, you, are speaking and creating the viewpoint, with your words, and actions. Some think it easier to always write in the Third Person.

My Fifth Novella is almost complete, and for the first time I am writing using the FIRST PERSON’s Point of View. I did that because I wanted to allow my readers the opportunity to know my Protagonist, her feelings, desires, goals, and most inner thoughts.   When she thinks silently, I use ITALICS so the reader can listen to her private thoughts and reactions, as events unfold. This is done only when the Character is the viewpoint character.

Note: I have not mentioned Second Person writing which uses the Words YOU & YOUR. This is limited in its use.  One way is by speaking directly to the audience (an Example, you will find in the FIRST PERSON and THIRD PERSON paragraphs).  Other uses are: In Video Games, Self-Help Books and Magazines, Travel articles and Informational Guides.

FIRST PERSON:  l/me/my/we/us/0ur

SECOND PERSON: Y0u/Y0ur

THIRD PERSON:  He/him/his/She/her/It/its/They/them/their     

Happy Writing,  Paula

 

 

 

 

Steps in Plotting your Story

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STEPS IN PLOTTING YOUR STORY

It is said to write well, one must read a lot. Why? Because in reading, we learn. I definitely agree… but many times it is prudent to learn another way.

Just recently, I read an article by Glen C. Strathy advising what compiles a well-planned plot. I found it a valuable and beneficial guide in assuring future stories had all the elements for a compelling story.  In a shortened version, I relay his advice on how we should apply the following “A through H” guide.

In what way does the author present the Protagonist (the main character involved in a conflict), and Antagonist (a character or group of characters who oppose the main character).

            How should authors create and execute a compelling plot?

                        A…What is the Goal of the story?

                        B…What situations will occur resulting in the difficulty obtaining the                                                      Goal?

                        C… What is done in order to achieve the Goal?

                        D… What events occur during the story to show the main character is                                                closer to the Goal?

                         E… What is the Protagonist forced to endure in order to achieve the                                                      Goal?

                        F… What reward will the main character receive or learn as the result                                                 of his/her situation?

                        G… What events must happen before the main character is in a                                                 position to receive the reward?

                        H…   This is similar to “B” in that the main character has to face a                                                 precondition that can make it difficult to achieve the Goal.

The ending is most important.  You have a progressive plot.  You have written the events that must happen in order to create an emotional impact.  There is a crisis, and now, the final resolution—the ending.  It should be a satisfying ending, so the reader feels the main character resolves his/her inner conflict.

**To read the complete Article go to www.glen-c-strathy.com.

Happy Writing!    Paula

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIME FOR A CRITIQUE

 

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TIME FOR A CRITIQUE

After months working on my new Novel,–then reading it, editing it, reading it again, editing it again, I think I am ready for the next step. In the hope of improving my craft, aware it still needs work… it is time for “Critique.org.”

What is Critique.org?   It is a website that critiques the work of all authors and genres of writing   (-Definition: a formal analysis and evaluation of a story, article or Novel.)

I was so anxious to write and publish my first Novel; I did not offer it to a professional to Critique. Yes, it took me almost a year to complete my first Novel.  I did my own editing, re-read it again, and made more adjustments, and then published it.  Had I consulted any one, I am certain I would have been advised to send my completed manuscript to CRITIQUE.ORG. After all they have been around over 20 years, and helped beginners and published authors.  Had I done so, I would have learned where my story needed help, learned how to refine my novel and received help to place myself on the path to success. This definitely would have helped me Grow as an author.

I strongly recommend CRITIQUE.ORG, home to workshops for all genres of writing – music, art, photography, web site design, authors and more.

It began life some twenty odd years ago as “CRITTERS”, an on-line workshop and critique group for science fiction/horror/fantasy writers and later expanded into workshops for all kinds of artistic endeavors.

The requirements are simple.  Your work is critiqued in exchange for critiquing the work of others. CRITTERS is large, (several thousand members from ultra-beginners to multi-novel professionals)

They furnish you with in-depth critiques, of several hundred words, in a courteous and diplomatic way, even if the news is bad.  Critters also critiques short stories as well as novels and other large works.  If it is a lengthy Novel, you may send it in pieces (Chapters at a time).   In approximately one month from when you submit your manuscript, you will receive 10-20 reviews.  You will learn where the story needs work, enabling you to make those adjustments.

                            Is it time for your work to be Critiqued?

Happy Writing,

Paula

ARE YOU A PLOTTER OR PANTSING?

 

Just read abusiness-woman-working_~u19916973[1].jpgn Article from the current Issue of “Writer’s Digest” May/June,2016, by Jeff Somers. titled

” Plotting vs. Pantsing.”  talking about Outlining or not Outlining.

 

I want to share this with you because I found Mr.Somers thoughts on the subject  very interesting. While it seems most suggest an Outline before sitting down at the keyboard to write, I find myself unable to do so. At first, I tried to plan my story  from beginning, to the end, but it was easier to sit down and start.   I did my research which helped set the scene .  The location and year are planned, and characters have emerged.

In my first novel “JACK OF HEARTS” I wrote about the late 1940’s when I was a teen and fashioned most of my characters after those I grew up with. It was easy because I knew them.  I was familiar with the year, not forgetting what it was like to be a teenager during that time period. I must admit I added a little spice here and there.  After all, it is fiction.

“HIDDEN HILLS”, a trilogy, became about because being a fan of fantasy, I wondered how would an ancient clan of Fairies, hidden for centuries, cope with living in the 21st century?  How would they face life as we know it?  I dug into Irish Mythology which always fascinated me.  As I read more and more, the characters emerged. First, a beautiful Queen, living between two worlds Then, the human, who discovers their village,  and is loved by both the Queen and her sister.  What follows is the conflict between the ancient Gods, the evil Goddess, Morrigan, and the Fairies. ( no longer hidden from the world.)

Just what is a Plotter and Pantsing?

 A Plotter- sets up the logistics, and supply lines like a military campaign, and by the time fingers hit the keyboard, the entire battle is mapped out.  In other words, a Plotter creates an Outline.

I do keep notes, and information about my characters, such as color of hair and eyes- body build, and personality traits. Maybe that is considered some sort of outline.

What is a Pantsing?

A Pantsing- just starts writing, giving the author the power to swing into the story with wild abandon, thereby making the art of writing more exhilarating. 

However, Mr. Somers does state that there are times when both work. He calls it the HYBRID approach. The corner of pantsing is to always follow your instincts first.  He states that pantsing comes into play when you start to struggle.  The trick is not to give up but to change tactics.

It seems I am a Pantsing most of the time and a Plotter sometimes.